2017-05-18 / Top News

Fishing tourney expected to reel in 500 anglers


Crowds gather at the West Palm Beach docks for the 2016 Downtown Showdown KDW. 
COURTESY PHOTO Crowds gather at the West Palm Beach docks for the 2016 Downtown Showdown KDW. COURTESY PHOTO Organizers of the Downtown Showdown KDW hope 10,000 visitors will be lured to the third annual edition of the fishing tournament, set for May 20 at the West Palm Beach Waterfront.

And this year, along with the fishing tourney, there will be a seafood festival.

About 500 anglers are expected to compete for more than $50,000 in cash and prizes, the Downtown Showdown KDW will be the biggest fishing tournament held on the West Palm Beach docks. Teams can win substantial cash awards for the biggest kingfish, dolphin and wahoo, along with prizes for small boat, junior angler, lady angler and more.

The tournament and seafood fest will take over Flagler Drive between North and South Clematis streets.

The free event also includes a seafood festival with the area’s top seafood providers, a special section for kids, a super-car show, tons of local vendors and a lineup of local bands, including country artist Tom Jackson.

The Downtown Showdown got its start in 2015, when three local fishermen, John Jackson, John Mitchell and Grant Portier, created the tournament to honor their friend Scott Terry, who was killed in a car crash in 2014. Mr. Terry was an outstanding angler and community advocate who dreamed of hosting a fishing tournament that was different than the rest.

“I am so proud of what this event has accomplished these past two years,” Mr. Portier, Downtown Showdown co-founder, said in a statement. “Not only is it one of the area’s most competitive fishing tournaments, it’s also a unique family event that celebrates the salt water lifestyle — and most importantly, gives back to deserving organizations that help our local community.”

Projected to raise $40,000 for charity this year, the event inspired its founders to create the nonprofit organization Southern Fishing Charities, or SFC, to support the Downtown Showdown and raise awareness and funds for veterans. In addition to organizing and executing the Downtown Showdown, SFC offers on-the-water fishing clinics from award-winning professional fishing teams to military veterans and their families.

As a tribute to Mr. Terry, SFC will distribute proceeds from the event to Lauren’s Kids, an organization that was close to his heart. Lauren’s Kids educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention. This year, the event also will benefit the Boy Scouts of America.

The event is expected to draw a crowd of more than 10,000.

For the second year, the Downtown Showdown joins forces with three additional local tournaments to form the Beast of the East series. With a goal to crown the best kingfishing team on the East Coast, the Beast of the East includes the Downtown Showdown KDW as the first tournament of the series, followed by Big Dog Fat Cat KDW Shootout on July 8, Chasen Tailz on Sept. 9 and Fish For Disabled Vets on Aug. 26.

The festival begins at 6 a.m. May 20. Local bands begin at 11 a.m. For complete information and registration, visit www.downtownshowdownkdw.com. ¦

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